Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

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Thanks so much to Penguin Random House Canada for my free copy of this book to read and review. I have read all of Shari Lapena’s books and was thrilled to get a copy of this book.

In this book, a random group of people show up at Mitchell’s Inn for a weekend getaway. The Inn is run by a father and son duo. Some guests are there at Mitchell’s Inn to rekindle their marriage, some are there as friends for a weekend getaway, and some are there as a couple for a romantic weekend. Whatever the reason for the getaway, they are all looking to relax and escape life in this quiet Inn for the weekend. However, due to a bad snow storm, the power goes out, leaving no electricity, no lighting, no heat, and no cell service. What could possibly go wrong?

This book was a brilliant who-done-it murder mystery, that left me guessing the whole way through. The story is told from alternating points of view of all the guests in the hotel, but it is easy to follow along and remember who is who in the book. Just when you think you have it all figured out and think you know who is responsible, the book takes a twist that you didn’t see coming making you second guess your theory. This book is a fantastic murder mystery that will have you turning the pages as you read and will keep you hooked to the very end. I was hooked from the very first page!

I loved how this book slowly reveals the characters’ secrets and lies they have been keeping hidden so that you are unsure who the killer is and it makes you question each and every one of them. No one will go without being questioned or thought of as a suspect.

If you love thriller type books this is a must read book to add to your collection.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Book Blitz: Unscrewed by Ren Alexander

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Unscrewed
Book & Author Details:
Unscrewed
by Ren Alexander
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis:

Greg Rodwell.

The myth, the man, the legend.
Yeah. I’m none of that crap.
Okay. I’m a man. There’s that much.

Almost everyone calls me Rod, whether I like it or not. I’m the guy others look to for a laugh, a dirty joke, a distraction—the office clown. Even my best friend, Hadley, laughs.

It’s just that, I’m not always laughing. Not even on the inside. Nobody knows the real Greg or the agony I hide with humor. My recently dead sister had a clue, but she’s in no position to blab. I screwed up big time—then and now—but it’s all my undoing. Through everything, Hadley’s been my cure and my curse. And I fell in love with my married best friend. But she wasn’t always married, and I wasn’t always broken.

I had a millisecond of a chance, but I blew it, siding with morality. What guy does that? And sailing that sinking ship all the way down, I sacrificed my wants for her needs. Doing that, I fathered a kid with the office trouser troll. Stupid? Hell to the yes. Because now, regardless of the grand total, I want something I can’t have. Integrity and my sanity be damned.

But nobody, especially Hadley, can know the real Greg Rodwell, my tortured soul, my unashamed love, or my darkest truth, because it wouldn’t just blow her mind.

It would rock our damn world.

Ren
AUTHOR BIO:

Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.

Ren’s novel, “The Keys to Jericho,” was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the Romance category of Apple Literary’s 2017 Annual Book Awards.

Author Links:

HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:

Leaning on the fence, I watch the Road Hogs practice—some asphalt company. Their pitcher is an Amazon, taller than everyone here. That height would’ve been a benefit to the outfield, but I guess if she has the best arm of the team, she’s where she needs to be. But how in the hell do I avoid hitting high ones? They’re all high!
The metallic ricochet of a bat hitting a ball fills the air as arms wrap around my torso, and a chin rests on my shoulder. A boldly sweet perfume tickles my nose, as does her hair. She whispers, “Ready to kick ass?”
I shrug, still watching the other team while her fingernails scratch into my T-shirt. My stomach tightens, which is unexpected as hell. “If your brother lets me play.”
Simone releases me but leans against the fence, squinting up at me from underneath her hat’s bill. Her snowy blonde hair is in two low pigtails, and her bright pink lips play up her blue eyes. When they blink back at me, I again focus on the field. “He has to let you play. There’ll be an uprising if he doesn’t.”I cock my head, regarding her again, not sure if she’s expecting me to guess or if she’s yanking my dick—she’s done it before. “By who?”
“Me.” She grins and then rolls her eyes. “We all know you’re good.”
“You’re such a liar.”
“Am not!”
“Yeah?” I twist to face her and cross my arms. Her steady observation holds mine. That’s one thing about Simone I’ve come to realize since meeting her. She doesn’t cave, being surer of herself than anyone I know. “What about the shit you told Morgan on New Year’s Eve when she saw us together at the diner? You made her believe…” I stop because people are walking around us and sitting in the stands. I’m not sure how to word what I want to say without being overheard. I mean, as a father now, I should try to watch what I say around kids. I pivot some, moving closer to Simone and try again. “She thought we were…”
Simone grins with her hands on her hips while angling a blonde eyebrow that is slightly darker than her hair. I offhandedly wonder if all her drapes match the carpet. “Fucking?”
I laugh because she apparently found the balls I used to have. “Uh, yeah. That.”
She pokes my chest. “I saved your ass, boy! You still haven’t returned the favor.”
“What am I supposed to do? Bow down and kiss your ass?”
“You should be so honored.” She raises her chin to new heights in an attempt to appear pissed off.
I laugh, turning to the field. “Shit. You’re a handful, Garrison.”
“I am.”
Simone giggles and I meet her blue-eyed gaze only to roll my eyes. Two seconds later, the emperor and his entourage finally arrive, along with four people I’ve never seen before, carrying camera equipment. Wilder had told us a while ago he was bringing his news crew to shoot footage during the last game. Looking at the crowd, I now realize why it’s bigger than usual. Naturally, they’re here for Richmond’s most infamous sportscaster. His Friday sports show highlights the depth of his stupidity, which he calls dares. Daring him to coach our team underscores the magnitude of my own stupidity.
I say, “Looks like Mr. Showtime is here.”
“Yeah, sure.” Ignoring Wilder, Simone gawks at Ricky as he removes his Legal Eagles hat and combs his fingers through the black mop on his head. Chomping on his gum, he grins at Sylvie, who looks as if she’s about to spread her legs in worship of the bronzed god. I wouldn’t doubt she’s fucking him too. From what Hadley told me, Ricky has gone off the rails since his divorce and has reverted to his manwhore ways. Too bad he’s fugly.
I reach over and using my index finger, tip Simone’s chin back up. When she returns a questioning glance, I say, “You’re drooling.”
“What?” She jerks her chin away while subtly wiping it, which makes me laugh.
I nod toward the object of her distraction. “Tesco. You got the hots for him or something?”
Simone narrows her eyes and sets her jaw into a hard line, watching Sylvie fawning over him. “It seems everyone does.”
“I’m pretty sure I don’t.” When Simone sighs in frustration, I tease, “But I hear Wilder does. It’s a deep-throat kind of love.”
She laughs but then shakes her head, throwing on a quick, pink-lipped, glossy pout. “Stop making me laugh. I helped you with Morgan that day, but you don’t care. Dick move, Rodwell.”
I laugh because she’s off her fucking rocker. “And that’s exactly what you grabbed under the table!”
Simone throws out her hands, bouncing her pigtails. “It was for effect! I was acting!”
“You were jacking.” And if we weren’t in that situation and she wasn’t Wilder’s sister, it would’ve felt so good.
She rethinks her fierce expression as her lips twitch. So, I go for more. “And you liked it.”
Gripping my arm, she leans closer. “Oh, with the tent you pitched, I’d say you liked it.” I couldn’t even help it.
“I’d give your technique a 5.5.” Total lie.
Simone smacks my arm, not like how Hadley usually does. This stings. I half whine and half laugh. “What the fuck? That hurt!”
“Pussy.”
“Yeah?”
“Totally.”
I smirk at her audacity. Simone is unlike Hadley in so many ways. “Okay. A 7.0 at best.”
“Suck my left tit.” She dramatically flips a pigtail, swishing it against my chest, leaving her scent in its wake. I like it.
I lean over and, on a whim, loudly pant against her neck. Damn. She smells good from this angle too. Like cinnamon. My breath blows over her skin, and I hear her breathing choke. I whisper, “Keep talking about pussy and tits, Garrison. You’re giving me a stiffy. Please. Just try to restrain yourself this time.”
She laughs, shoving me with strength I’m not used to, and I stumble back some, laughing with her. When I’m next to Simone again, she grins up at me and lowers her voice. “You wouldn’t know what to do with a real pussy, Greg Rodwell, contrary to your recent events with that skank.”
“You going to school me, then? I’ll be your star pupil.”
Simone doesn’t respond because she obviously doesn’t know how. Rookie.
Satisfied that I just owned her, I lean back against the fence, putting my elbows on it. Seconds later, Simone is suddenly in my face, surprising the fuck out of me. She trails her hot-pink fingernails down my chest, all the way to my belt buckle and coolly whispers, “I’d destroy you for any other woman. Total annihilation. I’m a thirst you can’t quench. My pussy would consume you like a violent inferno. I’d exhaust you, but you’d still beg for just one more fuck.” She hooks her finger into my belt buckle, tugging at it. Caught off guard, I nearly fall over. I know she’s joking. But goddamn. Why did that turn me on faster than a Clapper?
Leaving me speechless, Simone jumps away and erupts with a loud laugh, drawing attention from most of the team, including her brother and Ricky. Wilder sort of frowns at Simone while Ricky’s bushy eyebrow rises above his sunglasses. He then returns to flirting with Sylvie. Shasta now joins the orgy, frowning at me, but I couldn’t give a shit who she fucks. As long as it ain’t me.
After several deep breaths, I start to talk, but my voice still squeaks, so I clear my throat to rid my prepubescent memories of sounding like Betty Boop. “By the way, I wasn’t hard.” The hell I wasn’t. And Hadley had nothing to do with it that time.
“Your junk is always that firm?”
I smirk. “There you go again, lusting after my dick. Maybe you’re the one who’d need rehab.”
She glances down at my crotch and then with an odd smile, turns back to Ricky-watching. “You couldn’t handle me.”
“You know what? I don’t even doubt that shit.”
I hear a small laugh from her as I try to recover from just having escaped a Simone-induced tornado. I shake my head to clear it, but that’s zero help. With Simone eyeing Tesco, I ask, “Why don’t you ask him out?”
“I can’t.”
“Why not? You’re not exactly shy. Just do it. You know, since you’re so addictive,” I mock her, which only makes my throat and zipper constrict again.
ButtonXBT

 

Book Review: The Secret by K.L. Slater

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Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC copy of this book to read and review.

This was the first book by K.L. Slater that I have read and let me tell you that it won’t be my last. I’ve read many wonderful reviews on this and other books by K.L. Slater so I was very excited to begin reading this book. I was not disappointed.

This book follows the story of two sisters Alice and Louise and Louise’s son Archie. Louise is a very busy woman and often has to leave Archie in the care of someone, while she works long hours. Louise asks her sister Alice to watch Archie and to Alice’s dismay she agrees. Alice suffers from anxiety and this is a big step for her. She is not sure how to care for children but agrees to watch her nephew Archie from time to time.

The book is told from the alternating views of both Alice and Louise, in the present and parts flash back to the past. Louise is a working mother who has had to work for everything that she has and Alice is the sister that has had everything handed to her and Louise feels that Alice has it too easy in life. As a result they have their differences at times but for the most part get along.

While in the care of his Aunt Alice, Archie slowly begins to open up and share details of his life and his feelings. Alice is determined to find out more about what happened and what Archie knows, and slowly we being to learn things and uncover a secret that only Archie knows.

This book was amazing and I was unable to put it down once I started it. There are so many lies, secrets and betrayal in this book, and it keeps you on the very edge of your seat right through to the end. You’ll find the pages are turning themselves to uncover they secrets in this family and learn what Archie knows. Lots of surprises and oh my gosh moments to have you guessing to the very last page.

A must read book to add to your tbr list if you haven’t read it already.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Book Review: Blog Blitz: The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo

The Gathering

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The Gathering

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved. In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.

Purchase Links –

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1980613788/ https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1980613788/ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39279875-the-gathering

The Gathering Author

Author Bio

With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries. Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/bernadettergiacomazzo https://www.instagram.com/bg_takes_pics/
https://twitter.com/bg_writes_stuff

 

My Thoughts:

This book was a pleasure to read from the very beginning. I enjoyed the character development of the characters in the book and how you got to know their personalities individually and as a group. The book dives into their past and their present to help you understand what makes them who they are today.

The story has a few twists and turns that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as you read what happens next. I was guessing as I was reading along what was going to happen next or how it would all end and was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed reading the story.

The ending was amazing I loved it, and leaves you wondering what will happen next. This was a book I really enjoyed reading, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Book Review: Friend Request by Laura Marshall

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This book follows the story of a woman named Louise. One day she receives a friend request on Facebook from an old friend she had in high school named Maria Weston. The only problem is that Maria died all those years ago while they were in high school. Didn’t she?

This book is written in two different timelines. The present and 1989 when they were in high school. We learn pieces of what happened back in 1989 when a group of friends were going though high school and the events that led up to the fateful night of Maria’s death. But are we sure that Maria did in fact die? Could she still be alive?

I love how this book alternated between the two different timelines to give you pieces of the puzzle slowly. Bit by bit you slowly uncover the truth of what happened and how each person played a part. You learn about each character and what makes them the adult they are today. You learn to love them. You learn to hate them.

There are many twists and surprises in this book that will have you guessing the whole way through.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5

 

Book Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

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Thank you to Raincoast Books for this free gifted copy of the book to read and review.

This book is full of shocking twists and turns and takes you on one heck of a roller coaster ride. Just when you think you have it all figured out you realize that nothing is what it appears. And the cover of this book. Stunning! An unreliable narrator, lies, betrayal, deception, and secrets. What else do you need in a book!?

This book follows the main character Amber. It starts with Amber as she wakes up and is unsure where she is. Is she in a hotel room? She quickly comes to realize that she is in a hospital but she has no memory of what happened or how she ended up there. Why can’t she remember? She can hear others talking around her and nurses and doctors checking in on her but she cannot ml once, she cannot speak, and she cannot open her eyes! What is going on? Amber realizes she is in a coma. Everyone around her has no idea she can hear everything said and done around her.

She is married. Where is her husband? Surely he should be here with her. Shouldn’t he? Amber cannot shake the eerie feeling that her husband and sister had something to do with her ending up in the hospital. If only she could remember what happened that night that placed her in the hospital.

This book alternates between the present with Amber in a paralyzed state, the week leading up to the accident, and a number of childhood diary entries from many years ago. Slowly we uncover the mystery of what happened and get piece by piece to put together.

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning.  And the title of the book fits so perfectly. I found chapter after chapter I was hooked and wanted to read more and more to uncover what happened. I was unable to put this book down. Several shocks and oh my gosh moments that leave you wanting more.

I loved learning about the characters in this book and how you get many glimpses into their past from childhood up to their current adult lives. You get an understanding of their life and events that has shaped them and their personalities into what they are like today.

This book was a debut by author Alice Feeney and I am definitely a fan. I will be sure to be on the lookout for more titles by this author.

With an ending that will leave you speechless this book is a must add to your collection!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Book Review: The Replacement – Book 1 of The Replacement Series by Bianca Sierra-Luebke

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Thank you to the author Bianca Sierra-Luebke for providing me a free e-reader copy of this book to read.

This is a YA, sci-fi novel that follows the story and life of the main character Angelica. Angelica has met a man named Merrick and they have fallen in love. Angelica would do anything for Merrick even after he told her that he is from another world and is not human but is a Lymerian. Now that they have been caught, they both have to pay the price for falling in love as they have broken Lymerian law.

Lymerians are from another world and have been living on earth in secret. Lymerians are discouraged from falling in love with humans but Merrick told Angelica who he truly was and told her that he wished to be a human.

This was a wonderful story and was a pleasure to read. I loved entering into this other world of Lymerians and learning about their laws, their way of life, their history, and everything about them. You are introduced to many different characters in this book and I loved how you get to know so many details about them all and learn about what they have been through and how that has shaped their personalities and makes them the person they are today.

The story is full of heartbreak, deception, lies and betrayal right through to the very end. I found myself unable to put this book down as I was wanting to see what would happen next.  This book is full of shocking twists, turns and surprises and will keep you guessing the whole way through. I loved how there were so many twists and shocks right through to the very last page.

The ending of the book leaves much to be anticipated in the 2nd book in the series. I am so happy this is a series and I highly anticipate and am excited for the release of the 2nd book in this series. I can’t wait to continue reading the series to see how the story continues to unfold.

This is definitely a must add to your collection and if you haven’t read it yet make sure to add it to your to be read list. I am sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐